News and Events

Welcome James Patterson

September 1, 2014

James Patterson is our new Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. James holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (2014). His research is in support of our new SSHRC project Rethinking Water Governance.

Position available: Postdoctoral Fellow in Water and Environmental Governance

July 2, 2014 - August 10, 2014

The Water Policy and Governance Group ( at the University of Waterloo is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to help launch a new environmental governance project. This is a one year position, based in the Department of Environment and Resources Studies, Faculty of Environment. The preferred start date is September 2, 2014 (or as soon as possible thereafter). The salary is $50,000/year plus benefits in accordance with University of Waterloo employment policies.


Congratulations Alyssa -- CWRA award winner

June 6, 2014

At the 2014 Canadian Water Resources Association annual meeting in Hamilton, Ontario,  WPGG member Alyssa Roth won the Student Award for best paper and presentation. Alyssa presented the findings of her Master's research on the collaborative process for responding to low water conditions in Ontario.

New Project: Rethinking water governance: towards a new agenda for research and practice

May 1, 2014

Enormous sums are spent each year to address water problems--yet contamination, overuse, and other problems remain persistent concerns around the world. It is widely accepted that failures to address water problems are closely linked to weak institutions, a lack of leadership, and other failings of governance. Unfortunately, the water community has been slow to recognize that actors, institutions and drivers external to the water sector can determine the ability to achieve desired water governance outcomes. How best to respond is an open question.

Rethinking Water Governance: Towards a New Agenda for Research and Practice is a five year project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (commencing April, 2014). Principal Investigator Rob de Loë and the WPGG team will explore how a systemic approach to water governance research and practice can be achieved. Specific objectives include (1) evaluating current understanding in the literature of external considerations that affect water governance; (2) identifying and assessing external considerations that are relevant to Canadian water governance; and, (3) charting an agenda for a more systemic approach to research and practice that accounts for external considerations relevant to specific Canadian water governance contexts.

Congratulations Michelle

May 1, 2014

WPGG PhD student Michelle Morris was awarded a two year SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship to support her work on collaborative approaches to transboundary water governance in the Mackenzie River Basin. Congratulations Michelle!

Rob de Loe appointed Canadian Co-Chair of the IJC Water Quality Board

February 28, 2014 - May 8, 2014

The Great Lakes Water Quality Board advises the International Joint Commission (Canada and the United States) on water quality issues in the Great Lakes Basin. The 28 member Board created under the new Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (2012) is Co-Chaired by Rob de Loë (Canada) and Dave Ullrich (United States). The appointment is for three years.

For more information on the Board and its functions, see

New Report Released

June 26, 2013 - December 1, 2013

In partnership with Conservation Ontario the WPGG have explored how information was shared among Source Protection Regions and Areas during the development of Source Protection Plans under the Clean Water Act (2006).

Information Sharing for Source Water Protection in Ontario: Summary of Findings includes results from an online survey of policy practitioners engaged in the policy development process and recommednations for enhancing consistency and effciency for future policy development processes.

Download the report here.

Congratulations award winners

May 29, 2013

Recent PhD graduate and WPGG member Sue von der Porten was awarded one of five Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies honours this year for her research on First Nations perspectives on collaborative governance for water in British Columbia.

Doctoral student Natalya Melnychuk was awarded a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship for 2013-15.

Congratulations Sue and Natalya!

Expert Panel on Water and Agriculture releases its report

February 26, 2013 - February 25, 2014

WPGG Director Rob de Loë served as a member of the Council of Canadian Academies' Expert Panel on Water and Agriculture. The Panel's report was released on February 26, 2013. It focuses on five key areas:

  • The risks and uncertainties of market conditions, competition for land and water resources, and climate change;
  • Improved monitoring and data interpretation that could be used to facilitate adaptive management techniques;
  • The interaction between land management and water resources – including the assessment of beneficial management practices (BMPs), conservation agriculture, and ecosystem services approaches;
  • Promising farm-scale technologies that could contribute to efficient water use, reduced environmental impacts, and sound investment decisions; and,
  • Governance structures, valuation techniques, economic incentives, and knowledge transfer strategies that would help to facilitate better management decisions and uptake of sustainable practices.

Copies of the full report, the executive summary, and the report in brief are available from the Council's web site:


Postdoctoral Fellow Position (now closed)

December 18, 2012 - April 1, 2013

We are pleased to announce a postdoctoral fellowship opportunity for an exceptional individual with knowledge and interest in climate change adaptation, water governance and resilience. This is a 2.5 year fellowship with a start date of February, 2013. For a full description of this opportunity, click here.